Forbid candidates from contesting from two seats, the Election Commission told the Law Ministry on Tuesday, asking it to amend electoral laws. If not a ban, it suggested making the candidates bear the cost of the by-elections necessitated after they vacate a seat, PTI reported.

The Representation of the People Act, 1951, allows a candidate to contest a general election, bypolls or biennal elections from a maximum of two constituences. However, the candidate is allowed to retain only one. Should the candidate win both seats, s/he is expected to vacate one of them, forcing a by-election. “This...would be an injustice to the voters of the constituency from which the candidate quits,” the Election Commission’s notice read.

In the 2004 electoral reforms, the poll panel had proposed that the candidate who wins two seats and later vacates one should pay Rs 5 lakh if s/he contested in Assembly or Legislative Council elections and Rs 10 lakh if s/he contested in the Lok Sabha polls. The commission has now suggested increasing the amount so it can deter those who wish to contest from two seats.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had contested from both Vadodara and Varanasi during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He had vacated his seat from Gujarat after winning from both. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had vacated his Mainpuri seat and retained Azamgarh in the same elections.